EL PASO, Texas -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operation officers working at the Bridge of the Americas at the El Paso port of entry made five drug seizures, Aug. 27. CBP officers seized 319 pounds of marijuana in four seizures and 5.1 pounds of cocaine in an additional bust. The estimated street value of the seized contraband is $418,400.
“This was a high level of activity for a single day and demonstrates the commitment CBP officers have to stopping any and all threats they encounter at the port of entry,” said Francis Brown, acting port director at the El Paso port of entry.
The largest seizure of the day occurred at approximately 9:10 a.m. when a 2006 Chevrolet Impala entered the port from Mexico. A CBP officer at the primary inspection station selected the vehicle for a secondary exam. CBP officers scanned the vehicle with the Z-Portal x-ray system and noted anomalies in the appearance of the rear seat. CBP officers continued their exam and located a hidden compartment within the seat. CBP officers removed a total of 165 marijuana-filled bundles from the car. The weight of the drug load was 195 pounds.
CBP officers arrested the driver, 25-year-old Jerry Bernal of El Paso, Texas. He was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations special agents to face charges associated with the failed smuggling attempt and booked into the El Paso County jail.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.